Calgarians and visitors to the city encountered delays in securing a taxi on Monday after hundreds of drivers parked, and refused to move, their vehicles for several hours at the Calgary International Airport.

The cab operators, who drive for Associated Cab, were furious their representative, a fellow driver,  was fired after complaining about conditions for drivers in the taxi bullpen at the airport.

Rupinder Gill arrived for work Monday morning at the Associated Cab dispatch office where he was greeted by the news that he was no longer an employee of the company.

Gill believes his dismissal was prompted by his recent meeting with company management where he demanded better working conditions and improved sanitary conditions.

“The smell (at the airport taxi bullpen) is going on since we moved here,” says Rupinder Gill. “Look at that little building. We are so many drivers, is that even under fair code?”

“I don't think so, I don't think it's even under the right permit.”

The airport bullpen includes temporary washrooms for drivers and drinking water supplied through a garden hose.

Jeff Garland, a representative of Associated Cab says drivers have access to a heated building and vending machines and no one is being forced to drink from a hose. Garland says the cab operators are complaining about the conditions in an attempt to end Associated Cabs exclusive aggreement with the Calgary International Airport.

"The start of it is that Rupee (Rupinder Gill), one of the drivers and president of the Calgary cab drivers society, they've been making some intimidation to some drivers up here to join their forces for their cause," says Garland. "Their ultimate cause is to have the airport authority end this exclusive contract we have and open it up for all taxis so they can form their own company and do their own thing."

Rupinder Gill says Associated Cab is the only fleet permitted to pick up fares at the airport which has hurt the bottom line of drivers.

"Since they got the contract at the airport, Associated has the monopoly in the city," explains Gill. "They never answer any phone calls, they force us to sit at the airport and the customers are not getting taxis. We are just tired of sitting at the airport and wasting our time."

Gill was reinstated as an Associated Cab driver on Monday afternoon.